Doing my research for the seasons I came across a very detailed website which chronicles all of the Pagan.Celtic festivals Here is an extract from it.
Samhain = Autumn
“Samhain marked the first day of winter, when the herders led the cattle and sheep down from their summer hillside pastures to the shelter of stable and byre. The hay that would feed them during the winter must be stored in sturdy thatched ricks, tied down securely against storms. Those destined for the table were slaughtered, after being ritually devoted to the gods in pagan times. All the harvest must be gathered in — barley, oats, wheat, turnips, and apples — for come November, the faeries would blast every growing plant with their breath, blighting any nuts and berries remaining on the hedgerows. Peat and wood for winter fires were stacked high by the hearth.”
Having a look round over the last few weeks I have saved some of my favourite sites, just follow the links on the left to find some truly inspirational photography and fashions.
John Keats said it so much better than I did:
From John Keats’ poem, To Autumn, 1820:
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel;
to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
I checked out my little spot for my planned shoot next week and discovered that all the bushes behind my lovely brown leaved ones have sprouted and everything is now a lovely verdant green. Not really the autumnal look I’m after. Might have to have a rethink.
I have been looking at the work of John Constable, http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/detail/Detail_constable_john.html?noframe his use of very autumnal colours in his paintings is partly where my inspiration for the autumn shoot is coming from, I love the richness and the lushness of all the colours he uses Autumn was the time when all the food was stored up for use over the winter, I hope to try and capture that feeling of abundance, early autumn richness, golden leaves, fruitfulness and contentment in my shoot.
Well, they do say that if you don’t ask then the answer will definitely be no! I plucked up the courage to ask an ex professional model I know vaguely if she would be interested in modelling for me, and she said yes! Fab. Below is the email conversation between us. Her contact details have been removed.
From: Lesley@wowphotographic.com [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: 07 May 2008 14:02To: Re: Is that offer still open?
Server back up!
Monday would be lovely – as long as the weather holds out.
Dont worry about the skirt – I’ll com up with a contingency plan – I can design and create a garment from nothing more than a bit of fabric and some double sided tape – I should be on Blue Peter!
What time are you available from – do you want me to come to you with all the make up etc? I want to make it as easy as possible for you so just tell me what suits you best.
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 1:11 PM
Subject: RE: Is that offer still open?
ACK! I just made plans for tomorrow!!! L Had an email from a friend I’ve not seen in ages inviting me to their’s for a BBQ in Bowland.
How long will it take? I can prob do Saturday morning if you have to have it done by the end of the weekend, if not Monday evening would be PERFECT!
Sorry to be a pain!
I may have a brown knee-length skirt if it hasn’t already made its way to the charity shop. I’ll check the ever-growing bag in the garage. If not I only have beige, black, or a brown and purple print.
From: Lesley@wowphotographic.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: 07 May 2008 13:02To:
Subject: Re: Is that offer still open?
How is tomorrow evening for you? I was thinking that if we could get to the college for about 6.30 ish we should have some nice light to play with and there won’t be many people around. We will have to do your make up, hair and create you a dress from voile before we get there.
Is that too tight a timescale for you? If it is we can do it at the weekend, again evening is the best time as the sun is in the right place (ish),the shoppers have gone home and the drinkers haven’t yet come out. We will have a minder with us in any case. (not trying to scare you but better safe than sorry)
Do you have a brown or orange short skirt to wear? I have tops to go under the voile ( can’t be showing off too much flesh in public!).
heheeeee!!! Can’t wait.
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 12:49 PM
Subject: RE: Is that offer still open?
Yeah, no problem, I don’t mind at all. When??
The rest of this week is fine for me, next week I’m busy Tuesday evening and Friday. Other than that, I should be pretty free.
Don’t be worried about working with a “professional” – I’m at least 10 years out of practice!!!! J
From: Lesley@wowphotographic.com [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: 07 May 2008 12:49To:
Subject: Is that offer still open?
Hope you had a great weekend, nice to have a bit of warmth, finally!
Is that offer of you modelling for me still open, pretty please? I have shown my ‘autumn’ pics to my tutor and he isn’t keen because on them, firstly because they are my daughter and she is a bit over represented in my portfolio and secondly because she hasn’t got quite the right look. The good thing about this is that I do know exactly how I want the pics to look – so no faffing about – the bad side is we will have to shoot on skanky Blackburn College car park because there are some bushes there that have a very autumn look to them and you will have to dress up in some odd stuff.
Really, really hoping you will say yes – I know you will be fab – and also a bit scared because – I have never worked with a professional model before!!
Planning my next shoot for ‘summer’ and was doing some research when I came across this on the internet. Very fortuitous as I was hoping to incorporate a horse into the shoot and new I find I can!!
It is a really interesting site – I spent far too long on it. Here is an extract from it:
“Horses, cattle, and pigs represent fertility. Horse, cattle, and pig bones are found in Welsh and Celtic graves, (Powell, 28) indicating that they were very important to those cultures. The prosperity of the clan is reflected in the prosperity of its herds. Cattle were a major Celtic food source (Davidson, 52)and as such, would be proportionally important to the success and survival of the tribe. Later, pigs became added to the diet of the Irish. Horses were also seen to symbolize fertility. Davidson (54) Davidson described rituals where the leader of the tribe mated with a horse. The bull, which is the leader of the cattle, symbolized the herd and its fertility just as the king would symbolize the clan and its fertility, thus joining the fertility of the horse with the tribe’s. “
I got a reply to my email asking for help from Gareth & Debbie at Studio 25 in Great Harwood. In record time as well, thanks folks.
They invited me (I invited myself really) to go for a coffee and a chat about my fip.
My email to Studio 25:
It was very fortuitous you e mailing me at this point – say no if you want to – I’m about to ask a favour. You may or may not know that I am upgrading my photography HND to a degree at the mo.
I am now on my final assignment. Part of the assignment is to ask advice of an expert in the industry – that’s where you come in!! Would you let me come and have a chat with you about my work and ask for advice and critique???? I’ll buy you both a posh coffee :))
Have been trying to contact photographers to fulfil the professional advice element of the brief.
Studio 25 in Great Harwood, a couple called Gareth and Debbie, specialise in weddings and portraits.
http://www.studio-25.co.uk/ met Gareth at a wedding fair in March.
Haven’t had a reply yet. Early days.
Did 2 shoots today with two differentmodels for ‘winter’. Both models did really well. I fully explained what I was after.
The fact that in t’olden days people used to die when it was winter – food and fuel was in short supply – unlike these days when we have an abundance of everything- winter was a time to be feared. will post pics later when I have sorted through them.